Reputational risks for oil companies and the financial institutions that invest in them are considerable.
In a world that that needs to move away from carbon intensive energy production, to be seen to be actively pursuing unconventional oil reserves is likely to be perceived as irresponsible, at best.
The impact on biodiversity, forests and rare and sensitive wetlands is a considerable reputational risk for companies keen to flout their 'green' credentials.
The industry claims that it is investing in Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technology to prevent the release of unsustainable levels of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, but this technology has not even been proved viable, let alone currently operational. If it is bought into operation this is very unlikely to happen in the next decade, and could take decades to be fully operational.